SalesforceIQ and integrate for better SMB customer service

Today, Salesforce announced a new integration between its SalesforceIQ and applications for better customer service from small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). With this new offering SMBs can now compete with larger enterprises on a more even-footed basis as their intelligence about their customers and prospects rises between their salespeople and customer support personnel. This announcement continues Salesforce’s recent push for better customer service including incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT).

In an interview, Elise Bergeron, vice president of marketing for SalesforceIQ, outlined these advantages of the new integration. Now in the new economy SMBs have to communicate with their customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to Bergeron. And they have to do it across multiple channels. These insights may not be exclusive. But what’s new is that customers expect a personalized experience, Bergeron says.

“Businesses are expected to deliver across every touchpoint,” she says. “SMBs find this difficult.”

Breaking down sales and customer support data siloes

Right now sales and prospect information exists in one data silo and customer support data lives in another. Up to 80 percent of SMBs have to connect these data siloes manually with Excel spreadsheet uploads or another hands-on method, according to Bergeron. “It’s not a great solution,” she says. Hence, the premise for the SalesforceIQ and integration.

The two sales automation applications come custom fit out of the box, according to Bergeron. “No technical expertise is needed.” The business desk is synced automatically. Customers get smarter support service and the SMB sales team is made more aware of any possible trouble tickets that exist with accounts. These feats are accomplished through:

  • Smarter customer service powered by SalesforceIQ’s Relationship Intelligence that utilizes advanced data science to analyze company relationships with prospects, customers and partners and offers engagement insights that help SMBs deliver proactive customer service
  • Stronger sales insights, which pulls in customer service data and enables the sales team to have a more centralized 360-degree view of the customer, allowing them to build deeper one-to-one relationships

Real difference maker

Analysts find that this integration can make a real difference for SMBs. Customer relationship management (CRM) has been a critical tool for larger enterprises for a quite a while, but only now is it becoming more widely available to SMBs and their customers.

“One of the biggest challenges for both small and large organizations is bringing together customer interaction information across sales, marketing and service so customers have a positive and consistent interaction no matter where they touch the business,” says Rebecca Wettemann, vice president, Nucleus Research. “Although large organizations can make significant investments in integration and consolidated applications to provide this end-to-end visibility, few do it well—and even fewer SMBs can invest in systems to support it.”

However, with this SalesforceIQ and announcement, the barriers to access in sophisticated customer interactions for SMBs have been lowered, according to Wettemann. And the payoff can be very worthwhile to SMBs, as per research conducted by Nucleus.

“In looking at the data Nucleus found that SMBs with this sort of end-to-end visibility experienced 25 to 30 percent greater margins than their peers,” Wettemann says, “simply by managing customer interactions more efficiently on the bottom line and identifying greater opportunities for cross selling and upselling on the top line.”

Integration examples

This capability can be actualized with the intelligence technology present in both applications as actions are automatically processed and customer insights get sent to the surface. For example, in the interface a service representative will see the large sales opportunity (i.e. $400,000) at a customer company when one of its employees opens a trouble ticket. Then the rep will know she has to resolve this trouble ticket before the next sales meeting.

In another example, a sales representative will have her appointment calendar connected directly to SalesforceIQ. In this way, she can click into the open opportunities and filter down to support issues. With this capability, customers feel that the SMB knows them inside and out, according to Bergeron.

The new SalesforceIQ and integration is available now for no additional charge to current users of the business edition. Pricing for SalesforceIQ business edition starts at $65 per seat, per month, according to the web site.

by Derek Handova

Derek Handova is a veteran freelance journalist and corporate content marketer who contributes regularly to B2B News Network, Economy Lead and Intelligent Utility.